Plain English with Derek Thompson - America in the Age of Conspiracy: Q-Anon, JFK, Aliens, and More

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I’m Alyssa Perez neck.

You can listen to this flew up on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Today’s episode is about conspiracy theories.


A couple months ago, I received in the mail, the book stuff, they don’t want you to know the new offering from the podcast by the same name, which covers the history of conspiracies in a way that I really enjoyed intelligent informed light-hearted but appropriately serious.

And I reached out to the podcast and I said, hey guys, the podcast three guys, I said, hey guys, I’d love to talk to you about my favorite conspiracy theories.


Aliens, the JFK assassination.

Your favorite conspiracy theories and maybe we can bat around some Grand overarching theories for why conspiracy theories seem to be especially buoyant in America today and so we scheduled an interview for this week and holy shit what a week to schedule an interview on the state of conspiracy in America today.


If you only follow politics or if you only follow music or if you only follow basketball, one of the biggest stories in the world in you.

Your little corner of the world that you follow.

What are the biggest stories has been a conspiracy theory in politics, Paul Pelosi the husband, the speaker of the house was beaten in the head with a hammer by a troubled, San Francisco assailant, Who’s online, history shows, a history of left-wing and right-wing conspiracy thinking most recently, the convoluted Q&A on story.


After this beating became news, another conspiracy theory came to light accusing Paul Pelosi of lying about the entire situation.

So conspiracies, both motivated this beating and emerged from this beating in music, the artist Kanye West or yay.


The artist formerly known as Kanye.

West has been all over the news, spreading nonsense, theories about Jewish control of the world and one of the most famous most popular conspiracy theories.

The last Decades maybe the last few centuries and not to be outdone in basketball.

Kyrie Irving, published a social media post about a book and movie that featured anti-semitic troops, including the claim that the death of 6 million Jews, in the Holocaust is quote.


One of the five major falsehoods espoused by the Jewish controlled media in America.

So look.

We’re not going to do a deep dive on.

Anti-Semitism in today’s episode.

The truth is I find the issue of anti-Semitism, really hard to talk about really hard to think about.


I try in my life and on the show to see the reason and the reasonableness behind other people’s points of views.

I’m not a republican but I really want to know how Republicans think I am not a vegan but I’m really interested in the set.


Of values that leads one to that lifestyle.

I think this is the only way to be in the world, not just to preserve a democracy of diverse viewpoints.

But to learn, you have to have time for opinions that aren’t immediately obvious to you, but I can’t do this with anti-Semitism.


I am Jewish, my mother’s family is Jewish, my grandmother is skate from Berlin in 1939, just weeks before.

Kristallnacht Films and media, but deny the Holocaust, or downplay the Holocaust or try to cleverly contextualize your minimize.


The Holocaust are Beyond the Horizon of compassion.

For me I do not even have an image in my mind of the sort of horrific stupidity.

You have to fall prey to to believe in these things.

That said there are a lot of conspiracies that for me are absolutely inbounds for discussion.


I don’t consider myself conspiratorial, but I believe the government lies to people.

I don’t think we have the full truth about UFOs.

I don’t think we have the full truth about aliens or our understanding of alien intelligence or the JFK assassination, or the level of medical experimentation on the American public in the last 100 years.


I’m not subscribing to any particular theory in any of these cases.

What I’m saying is I want to know more.

Today’s guests are the host of the stuff.

They don’t want you to know, podcast Ben Bowlin Matt Frederick, Noah Brown and I’m Derek Thompson.


This is plain English.


Ben Matthew Noah, welcome to the podcast.

Uh, so glad to be here.

Thanks for having really, I am, but you can call me Matt.

By the way to her, Matt, okay?

Gotta Wear it, that friends level.

So the first question that I have is sort of a 30,000-foot question, I want to know what you guys think, makes it can Spira, see Theory successful because there are an infinite number of stories that we can tell about the chaos of the world.


But for whatever reason, some conspiracy theories catch on go viral, become cultural narratives and others just die by the wayside.

So what would you say makes a conspiracy theory successful, what are the key ingredients?

What a great question to kick it off with.


Let’s say let’s think of it.

Like a recipe that you would be you would use in a kitchen or You know, if you’re cooking at a potluck to impress, your friends, the first thing you’ll need is something that does not have a satisfactory explanation.


Some sort of issue event a person’s life that does not have a satisfactory explanation that does not mean there’s a lie.

It just means there’s something that people would rather have a different narrative for for that to be effective the second Ingredient.


You need is a lack of transparency in the absence of transparency speculation thrives.

The third thing you need I would say this is just my opinion is you need something that implies some sort of control conspiracy theory, always always argues that there is some person, there’s some group some entity that has a largely unacknowledged.


Last ability to control events and of course the key ingredient here, the real Umami of the thing is to have a is to have a participatory aspect.

That’s why you see.


That’s why you see the ones that really stick around in a Zeitgeist.

They are able to become a part of modern folklore.

Now you now, you are embellishing the story each time.

It is told you’re adding your own stuff as well.

That’s what I would think.


Think of the conspiracy Pinterest board with the red string, you know, and Charlie Day like gesticulating wildly.

Like any time that people can like you know, get in the game because it is a game to some degree for folks.

Like it’s almost this interactive experiential kind of Life game, you know?


I mean it’s kind of wild and now we see this with the internet and the furthering of that participatory aspect with things like q and on which thrived in the vacuum that was As covid and folks, going stir-crazy and needing literally something to do something to believe in something to blame, you know, and then that just takes on a life of its own because of the participatory aspect where people sort of start to feed that particular conspiracy theory and it just balloons in spider webs out into this insane, Matrix of batshit, you know, narratives that Jump Right In.


Well I think a lot I agree with what you guys are.

Saying, I think a lot of it is based in fear, like if you can start it, a place of a shared base fear that everybody’s got and then have a villain that represents that fear.


Usually somebody who’s not well liked, you know, by around 50 percent of a population but otherwise, you know, the face of this win any way to other a group, you know, or like blame a group or like, in some way, separate them and then, and been like be like, no, that’s Where the problem lies and then add what Ben was saying.


Those ingredients that are unverifiable those things.

Like there’s no way to prove this is true or not, right?

If you if you add that to the sauce.

Oh, buddy, it’s going to stick Earl.

What do you think’s going on on the moon?

Hug you an astronaut you, you know, any astronauts, bro, this is this is great.


I love the fact you guys went beyond my initial Theory which is that it’s mostly a matter of the world is chaos and we have to inscribe some explanation into that.

Chaos to feel like we have an element of control over it.

No doubt, clearly that is at play, but I think you’re right to put your finger on the fun Factor like conspiracy theories Thrive when it is fun to drive theories about what happened.


I mean I say fun with enormous quotations.

Like you know the murder of people isn’t Fun, you know?

Assassinations aren’t like like fun necessarily but they are cinematic and like there is that fun factor that I think has to collide with the Hollywood is a Sheen of a story so it’s like wow participating in this is an incredible hobby for me.


I one follow-up question which is that I think that when people say I believe in a conspiracy theory, they mean very different things.

So for example, I love theorizing about the JFK assassination, which is a story that we’re going to get to later.


I love thinking about aliens.

But like, when I read and enjoy a book, like Don delillo’s Libra or Or, you know, you know, watch Oliver Stone’s JFK Nixon, I am participating in a conspiracy theory to a certain extent, but I actually don’t think of myself as a deeply conspiratorial person.


I am consuming a kind of literally, I’m consuming art, I’m consuming conspiratorial art, whereas some people make this they folded into their lives in a really fast anyway.

So if you guys thought a lot about sort of the spectrum of ones, And in conspiracy theories, some people in your Spectators and others are in the friggin Arena hundred percent.


Yeah, it’s exhort.

It’s an extraordinarily rare.

For someone in the west to say categorically, I am a conspiracy theorist, right?

Even before everything went off the rails in the past few years and conspiracy theory became weaponized, as a, you know, a rhetorical device.


Right in the years, before that you would see people typically having one or two things that they had questions about maybe is the most diplomatic way to put it.

I’m no conspiracy.

Theorist says, you know, our average Johnny or Jane on the spot but I’ll tell you what, something’s weird about.


That whole Kennedy thing and I love that you mentioned that I love.

We’re going to get to it because it is one of the most widespread conspiratorial You could call it the, the issue there then is that we have to understand human beings are the most successful primates because they are great pattern.


Identifiers, that is a primal urge well.

And, and then when it goes, when it crosses that line, self-awareness tends to go up the window to where it’s, like once you’re in it, like you said in the arena as it were, it’s just kind of your life and it is you You believe it without having to even acknowledge that it’s a belief.


It just is the truth as far as you’re concerned.

I were her really great quote.

It was Anthony Hopkins was talking about portraying evil people and how a journalist who interviewed Hitler said Hitler has like thousands of books in his library and he doesn’t have to he’s he hasn’t read any of them because he doesn’t have to just already made his mind up, that sort of that sort of like the, you know, the Crux of the True Believer of the conspiracy theory of conspiracy.


The theory to some degree because nothing that you can put in front of them, often times.

If they’re really down that rabbit hole will love will convince them otherwise nor can I kind of lightly push back against that, it’s possibly, fundamentally agree here.

But um, I wonder if one of the reasons why the internet seems like a booster engine for conspiracy theories is that conspiracy theories are a little bit like collage projects.


There’s this mystery that you have to solve and you’re tearing little pages that have different proverbial magazines and newspapers to put together your Charlie Day project to figure out who’s in.

Control of this phenomenon that you can’t explain and the internet seems like this incredible steroidal Library.


This really efficient way of sorting the world’s information to help people make their own collages.

So it’s as if people have people find themselves, they awake in a world that’s this, you know, bore hazy and infinite library and they have of that restaurants.


Very about these questions about the world and they like, just go to the shelves and they’re like, I wonder if I can sort of piece together.


Gather my own bespoke theory for you know why Democrats seem to control these State these states?

And you know why certain things are happening in government that I don’t like it is this kind of super-powered collage project, it is, but there’s so much information out there that you can be very selective.


And there’s a lot of confirmation bias at play.

That’s all I’ll say about picking which ones you decide to piece together to make your collage.

You can kind of work backwards to get to the, the outcome that you already believe.


It tends to see, you know, obviously there’s also good research and good information out there but folks that are all in On Cue and on they’re not looking up research that they’re looking up hyperbolic kind of like, you know, inflammatory statements from unverified sources which is you know a big part of the internet to people also can have a can create their own personas online.


Now I want to be very careful about this point in the conversation because man what we’re saying May Found a may sound accidentally dismissive, the reality is that there that conspiracy theory as a term is a thought terminating cliche meaning that it can be used in.


It can be used as a descriptor in mass media often to imply.

That what is being said is Wackadoo or clearly factually incorrect.

That’s not always the case the Drug cartels partnership with International Banks like HSBC was dismissed originally as a conspiracy theory, right?


Along with the idea that Queen Elizabeth is a hybrid or was excuse me, a hybrid alien, lizard person.

And for some reason, no one was supposed to know the difference between those is that the latter is absolute bunk and the former is absolutely true.


That did happen.

So I Say, we have to be, we have to be careful to realize that especially in the United States, there are conspiracies of foot the, the government has lied to people.

These are true things and, you know, the original language of the u.s. itself is conspiratorial the US was started by this conspiracy, this cabal of dudes who are like, you know what, I don’t think the United Kingdom thing is cool.


So of course.

So this is homegrown folklore and it’s, you know, the you Is is a very young country but it speaks conspiracy as a native tongue.

So we have really glad that you said that, I think you’re absolutely right.

The Conspiracy Theory can often be used as a conversation ending epithet, but what you’re pointing out is that maybe the secret ingredient.


The most important ingredient to a successful conspiracy theory is a kernel of Truth.

Released a kernel of truth.

That is broadly recognized as as factual by lots of people.

So, at this point, I think we just have to dive To the story’s been.


I reached out to you guys asking about your favorite conspiracy theories you made the mistake of forwarding along your answer.

So I’m going to pick on you first, your first in the barrel.

You said that your favorite kind of conspiracy theories involved, government experimentation into alleged psychic powers or other extraordinary, abilities, real Mi agent Mulder.



Tell me about The Stargate project, okay?

True story man and this is going to sound more and more nuts as as we go.

But true story high level as we said 30,000 foot view.

The United States Army not too too long ago in about 1978 said all right you know it’s still cold war-era right and they said okay we’re a little concerned that the USSR might have psychic like extraordinarily gifted individuals.


The way their order of operations was okay, you know.


Generals we’re worried that psychic powers may be real.

What we’re worried that the USSR knows this too and we’re worried that they’re way ahead of us if these first two things are true.


So three and then of course, being a government program.

There were like four, we need a lot of money, so 1978 the US army established, something called Stargate, and they worked with the idea of Clairvoyance of remote viewing.


This was this is the concept that through meditation or through sensor, through like a sensory, deprivation situation, certain individuals are able to project, some intangible form of their Consciousness, over vast distances, Distances.


This would be great for a tradecraft if it were, if it worked from all week until it.

Didn’t they experimented with about for all we know we’re all we go.

My bad yes.

But it looks like was about 15 to 20 people here in the US and whatever the case may be it was terminated gosh I know it was Declassified.


In 1995.

And there’s still, you know, it’s now I’m reading along and yeah, it was, it was indeed terminated in 1995.

So this is at least officially no longer ongoing according to the record that we have.

I got a damn, we interviewed this guy Russell, targ years ago on the podcast.


And it says to this day, I think one of the most fascinating interviews I’ve ever been a part of this guy is what you would call a parapsychologist.

And he was part of Stargate believe from Not mistaken to degree.

And he also did a lot of experiments and I think with MIT into training people, to be psychic essential, a remote and the remote viewing.



The thing that was so ashamed, talking to him, can you deal?

Signed remote viewing.

That remote viewing is heard when you project your mind to a location that’s be outside of yourself so that you can like find a body or something is there astral travel.


Thinking that.

So, like a test test, could be anything like there is an envelope.


On which a symbol has been drawn, right?

Or a phrase has been written.

This is in this other location.

Try to find it through remote viewing, astral travel and all the way up to something on the far side of the Spectrum, which is Journey Through Time and Space, tell us what Mars was like, billions of years ago.


And this again was taxpayer-funded so.

So this is the opening scene of Ghostbusters.

My name is Kyra.

Dr. Venkman has the cards Spangler was based on the Russell, targ is like a real-life.


He got Spangler also drill it is nicest guy.


And and it was the Stanford Research Institute.

I really like the work they’re doing.

I just wanted to last thing.

The reason I bring him up as speaking to him was the coolest kind of example of someone that is a scientist is trained in science and speaks about this stuff that we’re talking about in more or less scientific terms.


But then at some point you’re kind of like this is something else.

This is a little bit beyond the pale of what science, you know, can explain But I just loved how measured he was and then his discussion and he truly believed that he can train anybody to be a psychic spy.


And just to keep expanding on a little bit more Benny just one of the things that you turned me on to after we looked into Stargate was the Soviet psychotronics program and the rationale behind why the US had to get into the psychic game because the Soviets were doing it at least according to the Intel that the u.s. had and then according to the Intel.


The so Soviets had.

Oh, wait, now the u.s. is getting into it.

So now we all have to put our funds into this psychic program, to make sure we’ve got the best psychics hands down feet that on the planet Earth.

Yeah, it’s really interesting to me how quote, Oh no.

The Soviets are doing it and quote, can you be a motivation for both spending millions of dollars, on astral projections, and spending billions of dollars on the Apollo program.


Like yeah, like it can, it can lead to the dumbest possible.

Maybe not the dumbest possible, but extremely conspiratorial efforts to turn humans into psychics and lead to essentially the development of the microchip and the space program.


So like, you know, Global political competition can have diverse outcomes.

Speaking of global political competition, let’s talk about aliens.

I’m a total sucker for aliens.

I think just mathematically, the odds of humanity being alone in the universe.

As a technological species is unlikely, not to mention sort of existentially.



You have an amazing chapter on UFO conspiracies.

Let’s start with stealth aircraft and the inventions Security Act of 1954, who wants to pick it up from here invented will here, I’ll give you started.


I’ve been knows a lot about this.

This is this.

The thing that the u.s. government can step in and take a packet basically, and just straight up, say, no.


We already have that threat to National Security.

You don’t get to have this idea.


Yeah, it’s spooky stuff at the invention, secrecy Act of nineteen fifty-one.

This is something we always have to talk about when talk about technical suppression of Technology.

This is a very real thing and it’s one of those things that has become so normalized that people forget how dangerous it can be.


Now, is it a necessary evil that verges into philosophy, right?

Because there are there many valid points to bring to this but to what?

Matt was A shame right there is to that point.

It is this law that allows the US government to take a patent.


You know do the Reddit thing where it’s like this is mine now and in addition to that it comes with a gag order and sort of a combo meal of legislation.

The next step is that the inventor doesn’t just lose that patent.


They are not allowed to speak about.

In public to write about it to publish work.

And we know that collaboration and peer review is the, you know, it is the spine of Science in the modern day that has to happen for Humanity to progress.


So the what usually happens is almost like an eminent domain law.

When a road is being widened, people get paid some sort of market rate, According to some Arcane calculus that they are also not allowed to to to see the working behind and then I’d say typically if they’re if they’re not you know associating with super villains and terrorists typically if their inventions good enough they probably get offered a job but yeah it’s a real thing.


So if you think you have it’s weird way to end the episodes to Derek because it’s always the idea is always like well if you have been affected by the invention, secrecy act, we wish you could tell us.


I want to drink.


Yeah, take take the information Security Act and bring it through Project Blue Book because this is where I think the certainty among some people that UFOs exist is built upon a Bedrock of Truth, like these things happen and they should make us skeptical, about believing the government story on UFOs and potentially alien.


And so tell me about Project Blue Book.

Well, it was an attempt by the US government to actually take a look at UFO.

Sightings that were becoming more and more prevalent and to classify them and divide them up basically between, what, what do we know was ours?


What do we think possibly was an enemy aircraft?

And what do we, what we know is currently unexplainable?

Or at least we don’t have a good explanation for it and As they were going through and dividing it up they they did notice.

There were a few cases that they just couldn’t explain but there were a lot of weather balloons involved but to say yeah, that the stats from your book.


I’m reading from page, 84 for those following along at home between 1948 1969, the US Air Force investigated 12600 18 reported sightings of those total sightings 11. 1917 were found to have been caused by material large objects, such as balloons immaterial objects such as Lightning, astronomical objects such as planets.


Weather conditions, and hoaxes, only 700 one of the 12,600 reported sightings remained.

Unexplained that’s a lot that sells that’s a lot but as you guys pointed out and I had never thought about this, the US government had a vested interest in maintaining these spooky uncertainty of these unidentified flying objects.


Why would the US government potentially want the public to think that maybe these things really are unexplained and unidentified flying objects, we need you to need us.

We need generally nice to have secrets.


No idea.

The, it’s a great question during.

So the obviously anytime something enters public sphere, the world knows about it.

And a lot of This research that That’s occurring in the Years prior and in the decades, hence, it’s involving really tricky stuff, stealth aircraft.


But the thing is, there’s not an aircraft good enough to be totally invisible to the naked eye when it takes off.

When it lands, right?

That’s the weird thing about satellite programs, like Corona.

You cannot really 100%.


Hi, Some of this stuff in the air and given that the average person, then, as of now is not an expert at identifying stuff in the air.


We have to remember anything you see in the air that you cannot.

Identify is technically a UFO.

So they’re able to spend the story and there was a calculus made that said, look, we can we can let people see things that are going to come out much later.



Like bombers that may as well look like Spacecraft to the average American.

And if we if we admit that, then we are risking lives and treasure with our good friends.

Over in the USSR, who will then know our capabilities, we want to obscure when a hide our hands.


We don’t want the other guy to know our full capabilities because end of the reactants.

Like you said oh yeah 100%.

Right there are no friends in geopolitics.


So you’re saying it’s like a At 700 UFOs, that were unexplained.


According to this report, it’s possible.

In fact, likely that many of those UFOs were actually pieces of Technology stealth aircraft that the government knew about, but did not want to publicly identify because they were manufacturing and maintaining technology.


Some personally stolen from the public given the 1951 act because that they didn’t want people to know.


What they were building.

And as a result, they’re distinctly Nation to be fully transparent to the public helped to feed this idea that the skies were filled with UFOs, not from the US government but rather from other planets, is that?


That basically the big picture?


And I think again like this lack of transparency, there’s always kind of a Twist of the knife that can take place there.

I mean, in terms of control, you know, any time you can Silo information like that and have people maybe let them keep believing that There are foreign Invaders that we owed, we alone can keep them safe from, you know, I mean I think it it helps put a little bit of trust in a weird way.


I mean, even though it also creates a lack of trust in terms of like you’re lying to us but you know more normal folks that maybe want to feel like Uncle Sam’s got their back if they think that potentially we could be invaded by you know foreign you know and entities that mean to do us harm.


Then I think it’s in the government’s best interest for them to believe that they’re the only thing.

Standing in the way of these Invaders, you know, taking over Earth are a lot more alien stories we can get to whether it’s Roswell and this other stuff, it’s rather you will I want to fast forward to 2021 the you AP report because I have a lot.


Okay, great.

We got Matt pumping his fist Matra coming to you next.

I have a lot of friends that I consider extremely sober, minded, friends, not conspiratorial friends, who looking at the evidence that came out in 2021.

Think, you know what?

If I had to bet gun to my head, I think the T point one percent chance is that?


Yes, there are aliens and these UFOs were alien spacecraft.

Tell me about this 2021 report and what is most interesting and important in it to you?

What’s most interesting in it of the government is spending a lot of time paying attention to this and letting us know they’re paying attention to it right?


And they’re putting money into it.

That’s interesting to me.

They’re doing it publicly.

What’s important?

They haven’t said anything.

Besides we need more money to look at this problem and just take a half step back, what’s the problem?


Just described to me some of the pieces of evidence.

Since this report okay yeah, there’s quite a bit of video evidence that was released by our friend, Jeremy Korbel, through various sources of actual Naval Personnel.


Taking footage of strange objects, that seem to be flying floating moving around in the air that are they’re somewhat unexplainable, they’re moving in ways that physics can’t really explain exactly there that we can’t fully explain terms of Going from under the water, just like in full flights and just the way they move and bounce around.


We can’t really fully explained with the technology that were aware of that kind of the deal.

That’s what the videos up here to show.

Right there are there are few that have some problems that may have been explained actually like light phenomena, that was occurring because of some lensing effects.


But there are others that are much less currently explained and understood.

So it is a bit of it is a strange situation.

It’s worth someone looking into.

I’m very happy that the u.s. government is spending money to do this but it’s a case of needing to know if there is advanced technology out there.


Is it us, is it an enemy or is it other?

And if it’s other, we got to start preparing, right?

The wallet opens up when you can bring out the boogeyman of National Defense, right?

And ethics also, Can go to the Wayside the interesting things that happen here.


These videos get leaked and purported videos of unusual, craft, get leaked all the time, right?

Or get posted on, you know some form of choice all the time.

What’s different here is that Uncle Sam publicly reacted and there were experts who are coming to Bear, there were experts speaking about this on record despite the clear stigma it would have for their Career, you know, often people ask well, how come this, you know this person this pilot didn’t talk about something they saw in 1950 until they were retired and on their way to a hospice.


Well it’s because they wanted to keep their jobs put plainly right, they didn’t want to harm their chances at promotion.

So one of the things that the that this UFO report does, it does some good things that doesn’t bad things, when the good things it does, is it changes the So now it’s not UFO, it’s UAP unidentified aerial phenomena so that could, you know, mean it’s not always an object also.


It’s kind of, its kind of the government’s way of saying, all right, kids, take this seriously, nobody say UFO, nobody say, aliens, there’s nothing like that in the report but one thing they did incorrectly, kind of scoring an own goal on oneself is they didn’t release one report.


They release to and the The classified one, which is not for public consumption, is much longer than what was released to the public.

What’s released to the public is quite short?

It’s quite reasonable, like Matt said it lists off these mundane things, but then it gets to one very scary part.


And even if you, if you surprised surprised or listening now, and you’re not a person turned on by the amazingly sexy language of congressional wording, then rest assured.

This is so very short, it’s easy to get through what’s worth your time.


The scary part is that by far the most powerful dangerous military in the world by any metric has admits that it has no idea what some of this stuff is for people outside of the US.


Here’s just a weird statistic, the two largest Air Forces on the planet are both from the US.

Military ones, the Navy ones, the Air Force, they know stuff about the sky and they for all purposes appear baffled that becomes a national security risk.


Is it possible that there are factions in the US government that aren’t always aware?

Don’t have full visibility on the other person’s work, right?

That’s that’s the point.

No, you brought up about information silos.



And, and that, I know, that’s something we’ve spoken at length about the idea that one hands might not know the actions of the other possibility.

Absolutely, that’s what I wanted to bring up the SR-71 Blackbird and it’s kind of one of the things we always talk about.

This is a highly Advanced aircraft that was first flown in 1964 developed by Lockheed Skunk Works for the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency flying out of Area. 51, and 1964 is when its first flight, Lying and it doesn’t get acknowledged until well after that.


And there were sightings of this thing.

I and, you know, the government at the time is a week.

We have no idea what that is.

That can’t, we don’t have any aircraft, that could go that fast that’s unexplainable.

And could this be the same thing?

Is it a chess move by the US government to say?


We don’t know.

We there’s nothing that could explain that that’s weird.

Or are they being truthful?

And I think that’s where we end up being left in the dark again.

And as a public because we don’t know what game they’re playing.


This is why it’s such a great conspiracy theory because if you’re a simply as mad as Ben said earlier, if you were simply going to pattern match, you would say, all right in the 1950s, there were UFOs that the government said it couldn’t identify, and it turned out that a lot of those UFOs were just these stealth planes that were being developed and flown out of Area, 51 that they didn’t want to acknowledge for geopolitical reasons.


And then later acknowledged, 20 years later, the same thing might just be happening now at the Federal Our government is making a show of pouring all of this money into these.

You APS, when in fact, there are parts of the federal government that are entirely aware of what these things are, which of them are lens based phenomena which of them are new US, Skunk Works projects and which of them are whatever else they basically.


No we just might not find out 15 years and in fact a lot of the nitty-gritty details are in that longer Congressional report that been said that none of us can see Last thoughts on Aliens before we go to JFK.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I just wanted to Derek you put these ideas together so well I really appreciate the way you synthesized.



Some of the things that at least I ramble on about.

So thank you to whoever this is this great last last word on aliens.

Let’s, let’s bookend it.

Let’s Circle back to what you said originally.

Man, it’s something that I think is quite inspiring, do to everything.


Humanity knows about the size of the universe and the span of what we call time.

It is a is He’s very much a near statistic, near certitude statistically that there have been other Advanced civilizations, there will be, or there may indeed be now, it’s inspiring to think about Until you realize that same math.


Also, almost virtually guarantees you will not meet these civilizations.

We’re gonna be lonely.

Hey Derek.

Do you know about Project Blue beam?

You know, tell me about it.

Oh no, I’m not going to tell you about.

We’re going to move on but look up.

Sorry let’s just check out.


They don’t want you to know you got your blue book and you got your blue beam is to two different.

I’ll give you the the logline.

It’s a pretty it’s a far out there conspiracy theory but the log line is false flag Judgment Day.

If you’ve if you’ve read the graphic novel The Watchmen think about what’s happening in that I don’t want to give any spoilers but I think it’s like a real world.


Worry about that like happening.

Well, so just just to leave with one other concept that I think we’re all fascinated by the, the idea of the silurian age, which is an episode we did recently which posits like some really smart, you know, scientists posit that there could be evidence in our fossil record of other civilizations that have reached industrialization.


That literally just like, like fragments of like Star stuff for like other galaxies that, you know, sort of like Were embedded in our planet during the Big Bang.

So that’s another fun one.

True like Atlantis shed, right?

Like this idea, there were civilizations that were near our technological sophistication and the records been totally wiped out or far beyond anybody.


Yeah, the crazy thing is, yeah.

Over the millions of years, you would never be able to tell if there was an intelligent race of lizard people.

Like you, we would never see any evidence because of what the Earth and time.

It does.


The Earth Eats Inlet unless they were on the moon?


It is funny that we always think of them as lizard people because I could go back to the Jurassic era and we’re like they probably just looked like big walking lizards.

They might have looked just like us.

They might have their own pots recording podcasts about the assassinations of the presidents and then he does.

Use comment comes and smashes the ocean.


They all died a bit earlier the labs and then we have to go through the whole damn thing all over now though.

Your water.

The world.


Make sure your pants are snug.

You know what I mean?

I love the podcast.

No, man.

The silurian hypothesis.

That’s great.

I have no idea how to cleverly transition from the silurian hypothesis to JFK.


So, we’re just gonna say that chapter, so ever.

And now JFK know, something can be a different.

Yeah, go ahead.

Well I it’s just the passage of time.

I think that’s the honoree of like in the same.

We’re talking about silurian hypothesis, what is time do, two things, it erodes them and until they’re gone.


If you get far enough away from an event, let’s say, you know, an assassination, it makes things way more difficult to to discern, because you can’t go back to any primary sources, right?

Well, who controls the past, controls the present, right?


And who controls the present?

Controls the Future and so on.

Shout out to or well, this the Okay.

So, The a huge percentage of the u.s. population, 100% believes that there is something wonky.


Something fishy about the official narrative surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy and the reason they think that is because they’re reasonable people who are looking at a Cavalcade of tremendously tragic.

But also often sketchy events, the the Assassin is Himself killed the guy who kills them things.


Don’t end well for him.

The so Oswald killed JFK.

Yeah, Oswald is murdered by Jack Ruby Ruby Ruby, Ruby dies while awaiting trial on January, 3rd 1967 and to what one year later RFK.


His brother is also assassinated.

I mean, I am not endorsing any specific conspiracy theory there but like, that’s a lot of shit.

Can you tell me where I Really want to start with JFK is what are the inconsistencies that we should look at that should make us even curious about developing a conspiracy theory about JFK’s assassination.


Yeah, this the inconsistencies, which are found by the assassination records review board due to the work of a guy named T, Jeremy gun.

The inconsistencies are such that if you are just Average person, a civilian and you receive this autopsy for a loved one.


You would freak out.

And now we have to remember this is the president we’re talking about.

They skipped basic steps the, the guy performing the autopsy dr.

James Joseph, Humes skipped.


He was one of three doctors who did not Topsy and he skipped fundamental stuff that these inconsistencies were not found until this.

This other guy, dr.

Gun comes along far after the fact to Matt’s point.


We’re looking at black.

We’re looking at a lack of original paperwork.

It just disappeared.

That’s weird.

We’re looking at tremendous and consistencies in ballistic evidence.

Again, none of this proves specific conspiratorial narrative but it is also interesting.


That stuff keeps disappearing including Original photos of the corpse which were later just found to be missing.

It has again, all the ingredients we discussed in the beginning, something appears to be a problem.

There appears to be a discernible pattern, right?


And it’s participatory, and there’s a lack of transparency.

I want to briefly pause here to say about this conspiracy theory another’s.

The boring thing just might be true.

You know, the Warren Commission, might just be correct.

The lone gunman Theory.


He might just be correct and if story but but you go all the way down the rabbit hole here and there is a lot of spooky stuff.

So number one you mentioned the autopsy the original.

Autopsy was rushed and incomplete and conspiracy theories.

Love any incomplete data set JFK was shot twice in the back but the direction of his head jerked forward and the injuries to other people in the car somewhat circumstantially point to other bullets being fired, maybe maybe that’s just that’s a that’s a fun element here.


R fun, in quotation, marks number two, the Oswald Factor, there’s evidence that weeks before, the assassination.

The CIA intercepted, a call between an individual contacting.

The Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, claiming to be Lee Harvey Oswald.


But when FBI investigators obtained, photographs and audio, recordings of these encounters, they determine that the person who contact the embassy was not Lee Harvey Oswald.

Pretty friggin weird.

Like maybe the simple non conspiratorial answer is the right one.


Maybe Oswald was paying someone to impersonate him to get visas from the embassy.

After they rejected his application, may be something really boring like that.

But also maybe this is the Smoking Gun evidence that he was part of a larger plot.

So Matt, Where Do We Go From Here?

Well, for me, it goes back to that concept of a base fear and one of one of our fears is wrapped up exactly where you’re talking about like, who’s at the wheel, who’s controlling what happens?


And I think this is the same reason that deep State conspiracies have been so prevalent recently and it goes back to JFK, there are power structures within the government, but mostly the military that exists and will continue to exist controlled by somebody doesn’t matter who gets elected, doesn’t matter who’s controlling the White House or you know, the legislature or the choose a city.


Hang on that Supreme Court, they will be there, they’ll be in power and they can have, they can hold Sway and they have the guns and you know, I think.

And that’s just a fact that’s just true, right?

Heads of an FBI can be appointed or taken away heads of the CIA, but then in the end, you know, the military structures are there, and this is there the same structures that are hiding UAP from us or at least hiding the technology from us.


I think all of it.

Kind of works together to make the feeling that somebody within the government or the military would want to take out a president.

If they didn’t like the direction, it feels like, that’s could happen.

At least to a lot of people.


The other thing that I think is at play here, is that people don’t want to think that the world can turn on a dime because of a loser.

Like Lee Harvey Oswald was by all the counts kind of loser.

I don’t know that much about him and I certainly don’t want to bring my knowledge from a Don delillo novel because that’s not a biography but a good novel.


It’s a great novel, everyone should read it but this guy was kind of a loser and it’s and it’s it’s a little bit uncanny to think that losers can change the world in this way.

I mean, one of my favorite podcast episodes in the world is Hardcore.

History is episode about the beginning of World War One.


We’re gonna drill apprenticeship assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

And incidentally starts World War One.

And the long story short is that gorilla pinch.

It is another loser.

Who’s part of this sort of loser band of terrorists.

That’s trying to kill Archduke, Franz Ferdinand over local ethnic differences and and a power struggle and Austria-Hungary and they fail and their initial attempts to assassinate him are true friends.


Ferdinand’s Entourage.

His Carriage is redirected toward a different part of the city.

It gets stuck outside of a Tavern gavrilo.

Princip happens to be drinking away his sorrows in that Tavern steps outside and kills Franz Ferdinand, which thereby help to trigger World War one.


We don’t like to think that history is that contingent that like these little tiny mistakes that happen in the world can be the result?

Or be the cause of just like absolute Mayhem.

I also I just think as a final note for me on JFK that that is part of the picture.


There’s no way.

This little man could have caused such a big tragedy.

Hmm, it’s not Shakespearean enough.

It doesn’t give us the high drama that we expect, right?

When we read the great movements of history, but I love that you pointed out.

Yeah, some time with their Terror.


One of the wheel it is, it’s that’s a terrifying concept, that know that nobody’s at the wheel that random person can change the course of History right now just because and it could affect you and your family and whether or not you can eat tomorrow.


I mean that that is an existential dread to the max but it’s the reality we all live in.

I mean, if pretend, you know you mentioned on a previous episode that you met your wife on Bumble, you know, I met my partner on Bumble as well and if you’re right some some little some little glitch with the app or some new feature that allowed her to re swipe you or something brought her back and then Cuz of that you met this person.


And now, you know, you’re married to change the whole course of your life, a little silly blip like an app update.

You know what I mean?

I mean, if that happens to us like on that microscale, you know, when you really zoom out, it can happen.

You know.

I mean, complex systems are real like we’re part of this crazy kind of, you know machine.


Yeah, it is history and it things can change on a dime.

There’s no question about that.

Things can be marked up by like, you know, throwing a wrench into Works for, you know, for example, that you really is a real thing, it’s a fantastic point.

And I don’t want to fly off into the ether of like, you know, existential blah, blah blah.

But like the truth is that, like, you’re right life and history, both contingent, right.


Losers, can assassinate archduke’s and start World Wars app updates that are randomly distributed throughout, the world can change.

The course of people’s lives and caused marriage.

Is that otherwise wouldn’t exist cause meetings between people who get married that wouldn’t otherwise exist life in history.

Are just contention to tell my last question for all of you.


You should have Scopes out to current affairs.

Do you think America is more conspiratorial or less conspiratorial than it used to be?

A hundred percent more?

Because there is, there’s more opportunities to build connective tissue.


We also have to remember, again, the earlier Point conspiracy is a native tongue of this country.

I like to point this out, I’m just going to be real with you.

And this is something you got cut from the book and I wish we kept it in the average u.s. resident whether considering oneself a skeptic or a True Believer is intimately familiar with the concept of conspiracy before it was weaponized and stigmatized.


The first conspiracy that a lot of people learn about occurs during their childhood in this country.

It’s Santa Claus, right?

Be good.

So that this Guy will break into your house and he’ll leave you some shit.

You know what I mean?

And it will leave you stuff.


You like if you will baby social mores, right?

And don’t violate taboos.

And every adult goes along with this, you would be an absolute pill.

If you went to a strange child who was happy Christmas and like gave them the trenchcoat Fedora treatment and like, look into a deeper checking a closet conspiracies exist.


In a way that has simply been accepted.

So what is a social vaccine against conspiratorial thinking?

Look like, how do we protect ourselves from falling victim to the wackiest dumbest most dangerous theories about the world.


It’s that’s what it’s such a tough thing to do because you cannot fully inoculate yourself against it, what you can do, if you haven’t, read much about critical thinking, Since I don’t know high school or maybe a college course, I would say one of the first things to do is to just read up on that for a little bit.


It’s a kind of boring.

It’s a little dry, but just read some of the techniques that you can use to find fallacies in arguments and in things you’re going to find posted online.

We were all purposefully divided for viewership, share by Major media corporations.


When when everybody here were when we were kids, when our parents Were like, you know, in their 30s, we are all divided purposefully because companies needed more profits and they needed to divide that market share up so that they could have a, you know, up certain percentage of Americans watching.


And this is the same for every country around the world.

So as an individual as an individual, what you can do is always question sources, find sources that disagree with each other, right?

And be aware that if there Rawr.


Let’s say 50 studies on the the dangerous potential of oil, exploration, and the Gulf of Mexico and there’s one of one of those studies says, hey, it’s not that bad take the time to figure out who paid for that study and why 49 other institutions all with their own different funding sources.


Say it’s wack, you know, like this is this is something we have to Do as individuals because you know for the same reason that terms of service and conditions are written in very difficult to read language for that same reason.


These studies the way information is presented to you is often presented or can be presented in a purposely dry purposely up to stiff occult to find way because it’s stuff.

They don’t want you to read.


Just to be very clear and I’m not saying it’s organized cabal doing this.

I’m just saying it’s a technique that works the same way.

That multiple countries stage, coups in multiple other countries, they don’t all get together and say like, hey guys 20:32, you know what I mean?


Let’s get rid of Lesotho is just look at who stands to benefit.

I mean, there’s this excellent.

Vice mini doc about a town in Russia, I believe.

Literally called ass best, where they still mine asbestosis.


And that is what this town is all about.

And the documentarian, you know, tries to talk to some scientists quotation fingers there who literally are in the pocket of the government.

It just couldn’t be more clear and we all know that asbestos is bad for you and they’re interviewing these families that have lived there for Generations who all seen their loved ones.


Die of like, you know, horrible lung conditions.

And yet these scientists quote-unquote are still say, no, it’s fine.

We we’d love it if we can just keep mining asbestos here because we think it’s great, it’s all fantastic.

Your social media and it’s a fantastic.


One of the things that came away from meeting.

Your book is feeling like a good antidote to conspiratorial thinking, is developing a sophisticated taste for when to be uncertain and when to be certain because a lot of conspiracy theories fall in the gaps, it’s people applying false certainty.


When we actually just don’t know, like we just don’t know if there are aliens it Going to be a while for us to figure out if there’s another technologically sophisticated species in the entire universe.

And then sometimes it’s people being uncertain about that, which we do know and trying to make up explanations for things that we actually have a lot of information about and they shouldn’t necessarily be conspiracy minded.


This is fantastic.

I had an absolute blast.

The book is wonderful.

Thank you guys so much for being here and for, I have you back keep talking about conspiracy theories because they’re not going away in American society.

I don’t know about you.

Guys, Matt.

No, I had an absolute blast.

Like, have America said, I could do this all day this terrible time.


This was awful, is the worst I do.

This is a great Massa.

No absolute pleasure.

Thanks so much for having us.

Thank you for listening.

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